What is Affiliate Marketing? Sell without having a product

Affiliate marketing like any other type of marketing, is about selling. In this case it is a system where there is an affiliate, which is a third party, who will be in charge of promoting the product to help the merchant to close more sales. Then, for each closed sale of a customer that comes from the affiliate; the affiliate will get a commission.

The good thing about this for the affiliate is that he doesn’t have to have the product and he doesn’t have to be the one to close the sale. He will only be in charge of bringing customers to the merchant and nothing else. The merchant will be in charge of closing the sale and also delivering the product.

Normally there are at least 3 people involved:

  • The merchant: he is the one who has the product or service to be sold. He will also be in charge of setting the conditions under which the affiliate has to work.
  • The affiliate: is the one who has the merchant’s approval to promote the product in order to attract customers for the merchant.
  • The customer: is the buyer.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing utilizes a system where a cookie is implanted in the customer’s browser. The cookie will allow you to track all the information correctly, which is necessary to identify which affiliate the user belongs to.

That is why the cookie is activated once the user clicks on the affiliate’s link. This way the system will be able to record all the movements the user makes on the merchant’s website. If the user makes a purchase, the system automatically adds the commission to the affiliate.

An example of affiliate marketing

Amazon has an affiliate system called Amazon Associates. Where anyone can participate by signing up as an affiliate following a few steps.

Once registered you will start having your own account where you will see all the movements of the products you have sold. To start selling a product you just need to browse to the page of the product you want to sell.

There you will find an option to create a personalized link with your affiliate id. And when a user clicks on the link, the cookie will be activated and will be active for 24 hours.

The good thing about those 24 hours is that if you recommend a book and the user does not buy it, but buys a TV during those 24 hours, you will still get a commission for the TV that is more expensive. Even if you didn’t recommend it.

Another good thing about Amazon is that you are free to promote the links wherever you want. You can promote it via a WhatsApp message, through a web page or even from a Facebook post.

It is an automatic system, so you only have to promote and Amazon will take care of everything else.

Advantages of affiliate marketing

The advantages of working in an affiliate marketing system are the following:

  • You earn by commission, the more you sell, the better.
  • You can work anywhere and anytime, you only need internet access.
  • You can automate the process of attracting customers, if you do, this would become a passive source of income, where it does not need much of your presence to work.
  • You don’t have to close sales, you just have to get customers.
  • You don’t have to store the merchandise, you don’t have to deliver it either.
  • You don’t have to invest money, just your equipment, ingenuity and time.

Disadvantages of affiliate marketing

On the other hand, the disadvantages are:

  • It may take you some time to generate a certain amount of traffic to earn income.
  • A bad recommendation you make can take away your credibility in front of your community. To avoid that, choose quality companies with products worth promoting.
  • A lot of competition. Although if you are skilled at getting the attention of customers or you already have a community that listens to you, you can take advantage of it.
  • Automating the process is not easy. To accomplish this you”ll have to learn how to make the system work on its own. But remember, if you do, this will be a source of passive income.
  • The customers you get stay with the seller. They will give you the data about the sales, but usually you don’t know who bought from you, so making a resale is difficult or impossible.


Affiliate marketing can be an interesting way to start making money on the Internet. You start earning money as soon as you get the customer you refer to close the sale. You don’t need to have a product, you don’t need to invest. You only need to have a community or know how to generate it.

There are people who do not generate a community and dedicate themselves to ranking pages by solving specific doubts to get traffic organically, that is, without having to pay for the traffic. Then, if they manage to convince the customer, they get the sale.

It is good to think about how to promote the products in a way that you can generate trust so that they will buy from you. After that, the rest of the work will be left to the company; collecting money, delivering products, paying you.

And remember, the most important thing is that you can scale this way of making money to a point where it becomes a source of passive money. And the better you get at getting quality traffic, the more you will earn. Therefore, learning more about it can be beneficial in a short time to earn extra income.